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Kingston Great Lakes forum a success!

Wednesday, November 29th 2006 2:47:56pm

Kingston public forum on Great Lakes a Success!

Pollution Probe and Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner hear from enthusiastic residents on how best to protect the Great Lakes

(Kingston, ON, November 28, 2006) Tonight, Kingston residents met with Pollution Probe’s Water Programme Director Rick Findlay and Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller at Kingston City Hall to offer their opinions on the future of the Great Lakes.

Tonight’s event was the first in a series of four public forums being held in four cities across Ontario, designed to inform residents living in communities near the Great Lakes on the region’s ecological sustainability and give them a chance to offer their opinions and ideas. Each forum is framed within a new Vision Statement on the Great Lakes* that Pollution Probe has helped to develop.

Findlay said the discussion was constructive “because the environmental long term health of the Great Lakes extends into social and economic side of our lives. If they are not properly understood and protected, unhealthy Great Lakes will have serious implications for the viability of the whole province.”

The event organizers were impressed by the output from the roundtable held earlier in the day. This session was opened by Mayor Rosen and attended by representatives of local industries, conservation groups and concerned citizens.

Commissioner Miller said there were three important messages to be taken away from both the roundtable and evening session. The first is the need for greater government accountability; enhanced communications about great Lakes issues; and the need for a network of community champions. Miller also observed that one participant in the afternoon roundtable cleverly summarized the sessions with the statement, “it is us who are the invasive species in the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem.”

For those who missed last night’s discussion, information about other dates and locations is available at www.pollutionprobe.org.

The next public forum will be held on Thursday, November 30th in Windsor at the 400 City Hall Square East Building, 400 City Hall Square East from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

For more information, please contact:

Rick Findlay, Director, Water Programme, Pollution Probe, (613) 237-8666, cell: (613) 863-8081, rfindlay@pollutionprobe.org

Dennis Draper, Office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, 416-325-0530, dennis.draper@eco.on.ca

*Pollution Probe’s Vision Statement can be found at http://www.pollutionprobe.org/Reports/greatlakesvision.pdf

Pollution Probe is a Canadian environmental organization that defines environmental problems through research, promotes understanding through education and presses for practical solutions through advocacy. To accomplish this mission, we engage government agencies, private businesses and non-profit organizations to help find solutions.

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) is an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and is appointed to a five-year term. The Commissioner issues annual reports to the Assembly reviewing the government’s compliance with the Environmental Bill of Rights.